Isaac Job, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom state chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has lambasted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) resident electoral commissioner in the state and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the arrest of its staff found with four card readers few months after the general elections.
Addressing a press conference in Uyo at the weekend titled: “What will Mike Igini say this time?” the Chairman of the APC in Akwa Ibom state, Ini Okopido said the arrest of the INEC staff with the card readers after the elections has vindicated his party of all its claims that the electoral umpire colluded with PDP to rig the elections.
“First, we wish to thank the police for their diligence and hard work in making this arrest which has undoubtedly brought to the fore dubious machinations of INEC under Mike Igini.
We believe that the card readers found with Ejike Nwankwo were some of those pre-loaded card readers used in rigging the elections in favour of the PDP and Udom Emmanuel,” the APC chairman said.
Okopido said since the arrest of the INEC staff, the commission has tried to give flimsy explanations on the illegal possession of the devices by their staff, adding that such excuses were not only laughable, but ridiculous and full of lies.
“We have read the press release issued by INEC in Uyo desperately trying to explain the illegal possession of these devices by their staff. Their explanation is laughable, ridiculous and full of lies,” he added.
He said one of the explanations of INEC on the matter was that the suspect Nwankwo used the card readers to train ad hoc staff before the election after which he (Nwankwo) fell sick and could not return the machines.
Okopido queried why the suspect did not call his colleagues in the information technology department of INEC to retrieve the equipment and wondered what he was doing with such sensitive election material in secret.
“The lies told by INEC are too glaring. We request Akwa Ibom people to discountenance these fabricated tissues of lies by INEC and we request the police to get to the bottom of this stranger-than-fiction drama,” Okopido added.
He accused the PDP and Akwa Ibom state government of mounting pressure on the police to suppress the case and warned PDP chieftains to desist from insulting Senator Godswill Akpabio as many of them were beneficiaries of his generosity.
It would be recalled that the Akwa Ibom state police command last week paraded a staff of INEC, Ejike Nwankwo for allegedly been in possessing of four card readers in his car.
Since then, the APC and PDP have been engaged in a war of words, alleging that the card readers were used to rig the 2019 general elections in the state.
But, INEC in a press statement said the card readers were used to train ad hoc staff for the 2019 general elections.